tv CNN Newsroom With Carol Costello CNN August 22, 2014 7:00am-8:01am PDT
calmer heads are now prevailing. the governor ordering the national guard to begin pulling out, saying that with fewer arrests and fewer problems there's no need to have the same show of force. but as the situation on the ground is deescalating, questions are growing for doerian johnson, the young man who was with brown at the time of the shooting. after the discovery of two arrests for theft and a false police report and news for a warrant for his arrest currently exists. nick is in ferguson, missouri to tell us more. good morning p. >> those arrests have certainly drawn into question dorian johns johnson's credibility at least. as his attorney said, he called it it's a red herring and it's subtracting from the issue at hand and he says it's irrelevant. >> did you know anything about your client's criminal background before today? >> the client's criminal
background is really a red herring here. this is a case where you have two innocent unarmed citizen walking down the street, who eventually had to flee for their lives unarmed with their hands in the air. criminal background or not, everyone is entitled to constitutional protection. this police officer can't be judge, jury, and executioner, criminal record, history, a student, honor roll, whatever it is, the point here is that you can't gun down innocent people. >> understood. credibility, however, key, especially in assessing testimony when they hear about the criminal background and the types of crimes involved, do you think it hurts your client's credibility? >> i think it's something they may take into consideration. he met with the fbi, the justice department, the prosecutor's representative, detective, and at that time over a week ago he laid out his whole life to them. they asked him about his criminal background. they asked him about the matter that he had a warrant out against him. he talked to them about it at length and in detail. >> if you are counsel, if this goes to trial, okay, and your
client comes up and takes the stand and says what his testimony is about let's start with the robbery, he had no idea what was going on, he doesn't know why mike brown did what he did and opposing counsel says you had no idea, haven't you been charge with a larceny before? have you ever been charged with making false statements to the police before? isn't that very damaging? >> not at all. his credibility in this case has nothing to do with what he's been charged with in the past. it has to do what he saw here, seeing his friend get murdered in coldblood by a police officer. >> in an up date to our viewers as to what happened here last night, there were some signs of calm, especially compared to the last two years of unrest where dozens were arrested. seven people arrested yesterday, half of them from out of state, carol. when you talk to people in ferguson, they tell you that the majority of those trouble makers are not from ferguson. last night is certainly an example of that. carol. >> nick, i'm just getting some -- a little bit of breaking
news in here. apparently the ferguson police department will now install dashcams in all of their cars thanks to a private company who is funding the effort. we're going to try to gather more information about this and pass it along. as of now from what we understand, the ferguson police department will now install dash cams in their police cruisers. >> michael brown's parents say they face a long ago on niesing journey for justice and trust. anderson cooper sat down with them yesterday. >> you both met with the attorney general yesterday, eric holder. how was that? what did he say to you? >> he just just kind of talk to us from man with kids his self. perspective. >> he talked to you as a parent? >> yes. >> did it help? >> it actually happened me.
because he has our support, you know. you know, he is supporting us, and he said he's not going to stop. he's going to help us all the way through. >> you believe him, you have faith in this? >> yes, i do. i believe him. >> did it make a difference that he came here, that he looked you in the eye, that he met with you privately? >> yes, yes, he did to me. >> in what way? >> because you can read a person and when you are looking at them and they are looking at you, and it eyes -- it puts some trust back there that you lost and he did and showed that it will be a fair and thorough investigation. >> do you believe -- do you have confidence in the investigations? because there's the state investigation, the county, the federal investigation. do you have confidence that -- >> up until yesterday?
i didn't. but just hearing the words coming from his mouth, face to face, he made me feel like, one day i will, and i'm not saying today or yesterday, but one day they will regain my trust. but first i have to get to where i'm wanting to get to and we haven't even begun. >> it's going to be a long road. >> uh-huh. >> i mean, the grand jury just started yesterday. >> yeah. >> we learned it may not be until october that they come up with a decision about what they are going to do. does it feel like -- obviously you want answers now? >> right. >> are you ready -- are you able to wait? >> yeah. i want -- i want everything to -- i don't want to rush -- a rush judgment. i want everyone to take their
time so there won't be no mistakes and get it done right. >> you've talked publicly about justice. you want justice. for you, what is justice for your son? >> for this guy to go to jail, so we can have some type of peace. he's still walking around with pay. that's not -- that's not fair to us. you know, we're hurt. ain't no telling what he's doing. he has his life. our son is gone. >> if the grand jury, if the federal investigation, if they decide that charges won't be brought, what then? >> federal investigation and we'll look to the federal
government to get involved. the family as well as many in the ferguson community are very distrustful of the local authorities, and so they are putting their faith more so in the federal authorities to make sure they look at this unbiasedly and as long as it's fair and impartial and that it's very transparent, anderson, then people can accept a jury's verdict, but it's when it's this secret grand jury stuff that nobody knows about, then that's what's troubling. >> a lot of things to talk about in light of what michael brown's parents told anderson. our legal analysts are here to discuss. thanks for being back with me. i appreciate it. paul, first of all, you heard michael brown's father say he was upset this police officer is walking around with pay?
is that standard procedure? >> it is standard procedure. i was looking for instance, there was a case in new york involving a choke hold that's under investigation now, similar kind of thing, and the officer has been taken off regular duties. he's got desk duty, but they remain on the the payroll while the case is pending. that's kind of how it's always handled. if there's an indictment, there's a trial, you may see that situation change going down the road, but at least for now it's being handled the way these cases usually are. >> i'm sure that won't be a great comfort to michael's parents. >> no, it's not. remember, there hasn't been an indictment. there hasn't been a charge yet by the prosecutor, and everyone is innocent until proven guilty, and is the suggestion that he should be taken off the force or not paid is just something that generally just doesn't happen in these situations. >> i wanted to get into a little bit of this. the ferguson police department seems to be adjusting to this case. now it's going to install these dash cams thanks to this private
company that swoopd him and provided them the money to do that. that's a good thing, right? >> i think it's a great thing. i know there are strong feelings about this among different people, thinking the officer is guilty and others who say he's not, but you know something, if he's innocent, the dashcam will exonerate the officer. there's no down side to this. it's good for anybody who is looking at the criminal justice testimony, i think it's a great idea. >> i agree. there has been a movement for dashcam ras to be sport of the -- par for the course around the country. i've also been advocating for body cameras for police officers. some officers are for it and some are not. it really protects the officer in many occasions because you do these type of shootings happen often. you have, you know, robberies, all sorts of things, and if you
have that body camera, i think it is just another eyewitness, and i think there's a movement toward body cameras and i really support that. >> if i were wearing a body camera, the audience would hear me agreeing with everything you say off camera. let's talk about something else. michael brown's father says he's concerned about the secrecy of the grand jury. that's also very common. >> it's very common. i understand his frustration with this. he would like a public proceeding, especially because he's fearful the case is going to be dismissed. if there's an indictment in the case, the reason the prosecutor likes to do this in a secret proceeding, he can put a bear bones case -- barebones case. now, it looks better the optics are better, the public maybe has more confidence, but as a trial
lawyer, i would rather a case come out of the grand jury. >> and bottom line, grand juries proceedings are always see scret and the history of it is to protect witnesses. you don't want your witnesses being killed, intimidated and so that really is the rule across the country. i will say this, and i think we can all agree, the prosecutor is the person who charges a case, and in this case, i don't understand why the prosecution didn't just decide to either charge a case or even have a special prosecutor assigned to the case. the suggestion that we need a grand jury to do this is really a fallacy, in my view, when i look at the facts of this case, it seems like a bunt to me. it's the easy way out. he's a longtime prosecutor. he's been the prosecutor in st. louis county for 23 years. his father was gunned down when he was 12 years old by a black man. all of his family members or many of them have connections to law enforcement. there is an appearance of an opaque process here,
notwithstanding the grand jury. i just don't understand why this prosecutor won't step aside, have a special prosecutor assigned and do it this way. >> because the missouri governor came out and said last night that he's not going to ask the prosecutor to step aside. >> it's remarkible to me. >> in fairness to the prosecutor, he's been re-elected numb ruse times by the public and he believes he's fair. his experience is not a did he tell drimt. it's something that will het him -- help him be fair in this case. prosecutors don't walk away from a profile case easily. still to come to the "newsroom," as support grows for officer wilson, and we'll hear from the st. louis officers wives association.
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department but spore for officer darren wilson is growing. the fundraising website go fund me has raised more than $200,000 in just four days. another group, the st. louis police wives is also raising money for officer wilson and his family. joining me now is a member of the st. louis police wives association. for her safety, we've agreed to call her hope. they fear they will get death threats after this interview. we agreed to hide her identity. good morning, hope. >> good morning. >> good morning. thank you for being here. >> thank you very much for having us. >> thank you for being here. tell us about your organization. what do they do? how do they do it? >> sure. we have -- we are the st. louis police wives association, and we're mostly composed of wives, mothers, sisters, and even widows of officers and our mission is to assist injured
officers as well as police families in a time of need or crisis. so i guess a little bit about how we do that, i should start with food. over the past two weeks, we've been providing food for two command posts in ferguson for approximately 500 officers, 24 hours a day. the amount of donations that have poured in from our community to do this has just been outstanding and we want to thank everyone for their support as we continue to assist these officers through this crisis. second part of what we're working on right now is organizing community food drops to food pantries on behalf of the ferguson police department, and we have coordinated with organizations and churches to make these drops securely, but to get these items and goods into the community, to the families who need them. >> there's been a lot of distrust coming from the community and pointed right toward ferguson police officers. so tell me how are officers holding up during this time and
how are their families holding up at this time. >> well, many times we are the support system for these officers and their families during crisis situations, so obviously we're all exhausted emotionally and physically, but, you know, the st. louis police wives association, we take our mission very seriously. this is who we are. this is what we do, and we do everything for each other from baby-sitting each other's kids or being a shoulder to cry on, preparing meals for each other. there's been times where we've gone to a family's house that, you know, dealing with something, and help them just by cleaning their house or picking thing up. i mean, this is what we're here for, to support officers and their families. >> have other police wives organizations from across the country reached out to you? >> absolutely. it's been a little overwhelming. we've heard from organizations
across missouri, michigan, illinois, even texas. the words of encouragement and support coming from all over the country has been greatly appreciated and it really -- it's really been an uplifting experience for not only us as police wives but for the officers as well. >> can you tell us about your security and safety concerns at this time? >> well, safety for us is top priority, obviously. we have policies and procedures in place. these help us to operate efficiently, effectively, safely. we realize there's a risk associated with being a police family. i mean, i can speak for myself personally that there's always this undeniable fear every time my husband straps on his vest or puts on his boots and leaves the house, that he may not come home to us and i'm very proud of his
commitment to protecting our community and for all the sacrifice that our officers and families make for them to do this job. >> and as far as threats against police officers or threats against your organization, how do you deal with that? >> well, we -- we have had to relocate some families due to safety concerns. you know, but our mission to serve these officers and their families with anything that they need during these situations and we are very passionate about that. >> all right, hope. thank you so much for joining me this morning. i appreciate it. >> thank you, and if anybody is, you know, looking to be involved or looking to help, we encourage them to go to stl police wives.org. that is our web. they can donate with money tarry donations. they have opportunities, volunteer opportunities as well.
thank you so much for getting this side of the story out there. we appreciate your time. >> still to come in the "newsroom," what could police in ferguson have done differently to defuse the crisis? after a break, we'll get -- talk to a former police chief to get his insight. we'we're trying ourls. best to be role models. we don't jump at the sound of the opening bell, because we're trying to make the school bell. corner booth beats corner office any day. we make the most out of our time... and our money. the chevrolet malibu. j.d. power's highest ranked midsize car in initial quality. the car for the richest guys on earth.
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happens next and how do police restore trust when one of their officers is accused of wrongdoing by members of the community? let's bring in bernard parks. can you help us understand things? >> there's been some criticism about why more information isn't being released about the police officer. we know about michael brown's history and dorian johnson's criminal record now. we know very little about the officer accused of this shooting. >> the issue is -- state law, i don't know if it requires they keep certain information confidential, but in the reality, in the short and long term, what's most important is to get the investigation done and to also ensure that we not lose focus on what the real issue is that is did the
shooting occur legally or illegally and the forensics and the physical evidence will tell more about that circumstance than the -- eyewitness testimony or officer brown is or anything else. that's the key factor that we should not lose sight of and i will hope over time all of the energy that's been expended and the passion shown in that city, they would not lose sight of what they put together in the last few days of communicating amongst every level of their community from the pastors to the police and a variety of things, but i hope that passion continues into voter registration and also voting, i've been concerned that the local leadership has been mia since the beginning. the first time we saw a public statement from the mayor was for him to say in the middle of a riot, and over 200 arrests, we have no racial problems in our city. that either gives an indication
that he is unaware of what occurred, but certainly hasn't provided the leadership and i think it's an opener tune time for the residents in that city to make changes by voting. >> part of the reason that there is so much frustration there is because this officer was whisked away and he remains in hiding and i understand why. i do. and there's been no statement at all as to what happened from his side of the story, except from these anonymous voices that appear on radio stations. >> i think one of the dim -- dilemmas you have, the more information and speculation that occurs, the more you are allowing individuals to fill in the blanks who now will not be giving independent testimony when they go either before the grand jury of the court. they are more apt to be repeating what they they have heard or interpreted, so the key
is to not lose focus on what occurred at that car, what occurred at the shooting, and all of this peripheralr riferl information will come in and you will find it's not nearly as meaningful as the autopsy, the forensics, and the real forensic evidence that will drive a proper conclusion. >> do you think it's a mistake that the prosecutor sent this case to a grand jury? should he have made the decision himself on whether to charge this officer? >> i think it's one of those things you have to weigh. there are some very great benefits of a grand jury and the fact that you can have information that does not become public and it protects the case. also, in dealing with a preliminary hearing issue, you are limited by time if you should arrest the person and you move forward and your case is not complete, and you don't hold an answer.
then you have a whole other dynamic of the community believing that it was not a well thought out or well investigated case, so i think it depends on the circumstances, the seriousness, and many instances, something this serious and has this kind of overtones -- >> in this particular case, would it have been better if the prosecutor has just made the decision and moved on? >> i think from the way i see it, from los angeles, to me grand jury seems to be a viable option because it didn't appear in the several days or week that you had enough to arrest and then provide an adequate foundation in a preliminary hearing that you are ready to proceed to trial. this gives the -- as we saw this morning -- more eyewitnesses are coming forward. the case is coming together. the issue is thoroughness is more important than swiftness if you get it wrong. >> all right. chief parks, thanks so much for
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defense secretary chuck hagel laid out the threat from isis saying in no uncertain terms the terror group poses a threat to america unlike anything we've seen. in the meantime, the siblings of james foley sat down with katie couric to discuss their frustration over their brother's death. >> you can accomplish both things. the united states could have
done more on behalf of the western and american hostages over there and still dealt with the broader worldwide issues and other nations have done that and that's been a source of frustration for me and i really, really, really hope that in some way jim's death pushes us to take another look at our approach, our policy to terrorists and hostage negotiations and rethink that. >> james' brother michael is talking about about countries paying ransom for return of their citizens. we're also learning new information about the email sent to his family. the final message, you do not
spare our weak, elderly, women, or children, so we will not spare yours. you and your citizens will pay the price of your bombings. the first of which will be the blood of the american citizen, james foley. he will be executed as a direct result of your transgressions toward us. they are demand the release of someone known as lady al qaeda. so between the demands for prisoner swaps and murdering kidnap victims, along with every other terror threat that isis poses to the west and middle east, how should the united states deal with those threats? how should the united states deal with isis? let's talk about that. i want to bring in pentagon correspondent barbara starr. good morning. >> good morning. when hagel and the chairman of the joint chiefs, general martin
dempsey briefed reporters here yesterday. their comments brought a lot of attention. hagel went further than we've ever seen before about the isis threat. he was very blunt. i want you to have a listen about what he had to say about what is going on right now. >> when will he look -- when we look at what they did to mr. foley, what they threatened to do to all americans and europeans, what they are doing now, i don't know any other way to describe it other than bar bearic. they have no standard of desense si, of responsible human behavior and i think the record is pretty clear on that. yes, they are an imminent threat to any interest we have whether
in iraq or anywhere else. >> what to do about isis? i think it's fair to say what administration is struggling with, all kinds of ideas, stepping up air strikes in iraq, even considering should somebody think about air strike inside syria. the pentagon says it's not taking any option off the table, but no decisions have been made. they clearly though want to get some partnership once again with countries in the region, get them involved in all of this and history shows us that kind of partnership has been very problematic, to use a cliche, we're going to have to see where it all goes. >> are you talking about countries like saudi arabia, jordan and qatar? >> that's what the pentagon would like to see. starting with iraq. get the iraqi military back into shape so it can participate in protecting its own country, protecting against isis inside iraq. that is problematic at the
moment. the air strikes in iraq, the u.s. believes, have begun to have an impact on isis' positions inside iraq. but that's very limited, narrowly focused. that does not address isis' strength in efforts to move across iraq, take territory, terrorize people. the united nations estimates something like 1 million iraqis also displaced from their homes and on the run from isis brutality. this is going to take more than air strikes. the pentagon making clear yesterday, isis has to be defeated. that last 13 years have taught defeating an ideology hearteder and harder all the time. >> i want to talk about this a little more. i want to bring in maria cardona
and ron christie. ron, i'm going to ask you the question that michael foley, james foley brother wants to ask the administration. why not consider paying ransom to these people to free americans? >> if you start paying ransom, it causes more americans to be at risk of being abducted. i just don't think it's a good precedent to pay ransom to these terrorists. >> you are saying the united states should not negotiate with terrorists? >> no. on the other hand, bowe bergdahl, the army individual that was taken by terrorists and we did negotiate his return, we
did not leave a soldier, whether he deserted his unit or abducted on the battle field, we don't leave our soldiers behind. >> do you agree because there are ten americans currently being held ovenling -- hostage over seas by various terrorist countries? >> i first have to say our hearts go out to jim foley's family, as a mother, i can't even imagine what that would be like and i would probably be at the white house's door begging them to pay the ransom if it was my son or daughter, but we can't let these terrorists dictate what u.s. policy is. i completely agree with ron. i think it would be open season for these terrorists to go out and kidnap more americans, not that it's not that right now, and i think that -- that's what is the difficulty. i think what we can do, carol, is sit down and try to talk to our allies, those who have paid
the ransom, and tried to get them not to, because i think as a coalition, if the civil societies coalition is together and strong in term of how you deal with these terrorists, then you don't have these different ways that other countries are getting the bad versus the u.s., it makes harder to be put in these positions. the president has been tactical and direct and i think that needs to continue in terms of focusing on support to iraq and the kurdish forces. >> let's talk about the president's focus, because i'm struggling to understand how the united states went from calling isis the jv team, to becoming this unprecedented threat unlike anything we've ever seen. how did that happen, ron? >> i think it's a little flat footed. for me having spent four years in the white house, and looked at what president bush did,
there are a lot of reports out there that the president does not always look at his intelligence reports. if that's true, it seems to me that he might have taken his eye off the ball that the threat that isis poses not only to the utilizes but as -- united states, but to our partners the world. we need to look forward. what is the united states going to do? i think the president should have come home. he should get off the golf course and i think he should have called congress back. i think he should have a joint address to the congress. i think he has an authorization of the use of military force and i think frankly he needs to come forth to the american people and say here's why these guys are dangerous, and here's our path forward of what we should to counter the threat. >> if the defense department says this is unlike any threat we've ever seen and there are fears that sleeper cells could form in the united states, then why doesn't the president come back and call congress back into session? >> i think what the president
will do is continue to articulate what he started to talk about this week. in his comments after the jim foley incident, i think he was incredibly passionate and incredibly direct and bold in terms of what this means for american society and what we are ready to do about it. i think he needs to be clearer about what that is. he should under score frankly and to bar bar a's point, that the press conference we had yesterday, i think it's pretty clear on what the u.s. strategy is. which is to continue to focus on supporting the iraqi forces, supporting the occurredish issue -- kurdish forces who have been staunch allies for us for some time. and supporting humanitarian efforts as isis and all these other terrorists continue to
threaten other sectors, and to frankly focus on making sure that we are articulate to the american people about our priority in term of protecting american civilians and american facilities. as long as he continues to articulate that, i think that the american people will be comfortable where we are because he has a very fine line in terms of a war weary nation but also focusing on this big threat. i got to leave it there. thank to both of you. i'll be right back. ♪ ♪ [ male announcer ] during the cadillac summer's best event, lease this 2014 ats for around $299 a month. hurry in -- this exceptional offer ends soon.
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stepped in. andy scholes tells me more. >> the st. louis rams, they stepped up big time in this situation. just last weekend, they gave ferguson high school players free tickets to their preseason game against the packers. the rams did something described as awesome. one of the teams had to train in a local park near a swamp. they had crickets constantly swarming the players. that's when the rams stepped in and opened up the indoor facility. football has been a way of escape for ferguson teams. >> i've called them, you know, just the parent in me, the coach in me, the big brother, hey, what are you doing? coach, i'm at home. okay. well, i was just checking on you. well, can you stop calling me every two minutes? i'm not saying we're trouble makers, when we don't have nothing to do, there's stuff out
there, you can possibly get in trouble. football keeping us out of trouble. >> the teams got a chance to watch the rams practice. you know, it wasn't just the ferguson players getting something out of this experience, carol. several rams players said seeing them there and knowing what they have been going through gave them some extra motivation and practice as well. >> that's such a nice story. that's awesome. thank you, andy, for brightening our morning. i appreciate it. we'll be right back. ♪
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this is humira at work. checking our top stories. the two american flags stolen from atop the brooklyn bridge are expected to be returned to the new york city police department. two german artists claim they stole the flag and swapped them out for bleached flags last month. they insist it was nothing more than an art project. the remains of maelings mh 17 are finally back home. today, has been declared a national day of mourning. there were 43 malaysian passengers aboard the civilian airliner when it was shot down over eastern ukraine. in kentucky, an ice bucket challenge goes terribly wrong. four firefighters were injured when a ladder got too close to a
power line. one of the firefighters is in critical condition with serious burns. monday night's upcoming emmy ceremony may be more star studded than in years past. saturday night live seth myers is hosting the show this morning. the late late show seth myers will be hosting the emmys, "game of thrones," and "orange is the new black" are set this year. reveal a whiter smile with the latest collection from crest: 3d white brilliance toothpaste and boost. after brushing, our exclusive boost... ...polishes your smile and whitens with 3x the stain lifting ingredient...
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ferguson seems to have rounded the corner from chaos to calm. now the town prepares for public funeral while the investigation picks up steam. michael brown's parents say they believe in the process. they want justice for their son's death. >> he's got to go to jail so we can have some type of peace. plus, journalist james